Author Archive | frank

Merckx leaves them behind on the Stockeu

Velominati Super Prestige: Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2015

by / / 177 posts

Liege is an interesting animal; whereas the Cobbled Classics are the sole domain of the specialists known as de Klassiekers in Flemish who rarely show their faces as serious contenders in the other portions of the season (assuming you ignore John Degencobble or Al Kristoff), the Ardennes classics have a strong showing from the Grand…

The weight of fatigue is taking its pound of flesh

Something from Nothing

by / / 61 posts

If the only kind of wind they have in Belgium is a headwind, then the only kind of flats they have in Northern France are false. In Vlaanderen, they specialize in a delectable combination of the two. (Everything that isn’t a windy false flat, it appears, is a windy cobbled climb.) The most obvious way to get…

Merckx help us if this tool wins again.

Velominati Super Prestige: La Fleche Wallonne 2015

by / / 147 posts

Who doesn’t like a nice, steep, uphill finish after getting your head kicked in for six hours? Not me, assuming I’m not racing. The key feature on this little doozy of a race is the 1.3km long Mur de Huy; doing a wind sprint up this thing has made the world’s best climbers shift into reverse and…

It is time to confess your sins.

On Rule #3: The Apocalypse

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With The Rules being officially published in three languages (English English, American English, and soon Dutch) and now also being offered in a large full-color format by Rouleur, it is time for the Keepers to accept the reality that Rule #3 is perhaps the most important Rule of all and one which must be enforced vigilantly, even…

The look, of love... Photo via Oli's Tumblr

Anatomy of a Photo: Bike Love

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I got new wheels last week and got them mounted with tires by the weekend. Then @Haldy had to help me with a clearance problem on Sunday (27mm FMB Paris-Roubaix’s get to be more like 29mm tires after Francois finishes his lunchtime bottle of wine). When I wasn’t looking, @Haldy put orange cable ends on all the…

Mapei parties like it's 1998.

Velominati Super Prestige: Gent Wevelgem 2015

by / / 216 posts

Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy oh boy oh boy! Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy! This is it! We are really into the thick of it now! E3 Harelbeke is today, and on Sunday we have the Kemmelberg in Gent Wevelgem – the first real serious cobbled race of the…

Diego Caccia demonstrates how to make tights work. Photo: Pedale.Forchetta

The Tightness of Being

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Sprezzatura. Leave it to the Italians to dedicate a word to trying to Look Fantastic without looking like you’re trying too hard. I’ve haven’t spent much time in Italy, but I automatically love a country where an entire nation holds aesthetics in the same high regard that I do. Not to mention their dedication to drinking…

How cold is it outside?

On Rule #9: The Badass Within

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The rain is coming down in sheets, blowing sideways out from the coast. I hear its intensity more than I feel it; the drops reverberate through my helmet as they lash down. The temperature is just cold enough to add a sting to the rain, like a thousand needles upon the 15cm of exposed flesh between the…

Daylight savings means less time riding in this

Reverence: Daylight Saving Time

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Not too many people espouse the virtues of Daylight Saving Time, much less chose to write about it every bloody year. But Daylight Saving Time is my favorite day of the year, no question. Better than Christmas, Sinterklaas, or my birthday. Combined. The reason is simple: Daylight Saving is the day of the year when it becomes feasible to…

Badass. Just...badass.

The Curse of Hell

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Northern Europe is supposed to have crap weather in the Spring. By crap, of course, I mean wet. I call bullshit on that, because the last time I saw rain fall in Hell, it was 2002. In 2002, Outdoor Life Network aired an hour-long broadcast on the history of Paris-Roubaix before airing full live coverage of…

The Paterberg is a brute made easier by a comfortable, wide gutter.

Velominati Super Prestige: Women’s Omloop Het Volk (Nieuwsblad) 2015

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I don’t know what it is about Belgian Race organizers, but I love those guys. Routes? The longer the better, please. The climbs? The steeper the better please, and as many as possible (which is very many). Cobbles? As many as possible, please. Cobbled climbs? The steeper, the longer the better. And as many of possible. Oh,…

There is pain to be found upon this road. Photo via <a href="http://szymonbike.tumblr.com/">Symonbike</a>

On Rule #10: The Mandlebrot Set of Pain

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My training hasn’t gone as I’d like it to be going. My days keep getting loaded up with things that pay the bills more than they add to the account at the V-Bank. It’s part of not being a Pro, I suppose, as if to spite my obvious talent which is a sort of talent sleeper cell…

We've been Buysse

V-Announcements: We’re Back!

by / / 115 posts

I have to tell you, there is very little that gets me as aggravated as having Velominati go down. Its like having kids kicking down my sandcastle when I was a kid, watching helplessly as your labor of love collapses right before your eyes. We’ve spent the better part of the last month with the…

Hinault in his element

Five Face

by / / 31 posts

Why is it that all the greatest riders look strangely happy when they are suffering the most? Hinault says he still hasn’t regained the feeling in some of his fingers from racing off the front that day in Liege in 1980. He wanted to get someplace warm as quickly as possible, he said. That’s why he went…

No Graveur needed here.

On Rule #12: The Luxury of Passion

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Rule #12 is a luxury of passion; the #1 for good weather and epic rides or races, the Nine Bike for bad weather, the Graveur (which is neither a cross bike nor a road bike), a ‘Cross bike, a mountain bike, a townie, a track bike, a time trial bike. Add in steel, carbon, titanium –…

The machine that cuts a path through the darkness.

Musings from the Darkness

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Reality is always an unpleasant surprise; no one wants to see ourselves the way others see us, and that’s for good reason, too: depression would be much more widespread problem if each of us realized what a pain in the ass we are. Speaking of unpleasant realities, after recently reviewing videos of myself speaking, I have deduced that I have the face…

Respect is a cornerstone of La Vie Velominatus.

The Past and the Future

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I’m struggling with how to open this conversation without sounding like what I’m assuming my grandparents did when I was growing up. Maybe it’s because I’m just now clawing my way into some of the wisdom they had, or maybe I’m just less of an idiot than I was when they were moving their lips and…

Every path has a beginning...

The First Step

by / / 87 posts

I’ve spent my adult life believing that Mario Cippolini was the first rider to soil the Rainbow Jersey with matching bibshorts. Granted, Super Mario could pull off even the worst soilings with the most possible class, but nevertheless it kicked off a trend of matching bib shorts to jerseys – which is something I cannot abide unless they match because…

Climbing used to be all about disco; in Flanders, it still is.

De Vlaamse Disco

by / / 108 posts

I’m not a good dancer. I’ve come to this conclusion not through study but through ridicule and injury. Apparently it demands the ability to exhibit control over your limbs in some rhythmic capacity where “rhythmic” is defined both as “not chaotic” and “not stationary”. To make matters worse, this extends to all your limbs, not…

We've been Buysse

V-Announcements: Site Refresh and New Connections

by / / 94 posts

I don’t know what it is about Production servers, but they’re always different from Staging and Test servers. And when I say “different” I mean “sinister and evil”. Never the less, we have successfully launched Velominati’s site refresh. It was high time, too; after serving us well for V years, the site’s infrastructure was showing its…

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